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One of the more bizarre news stories we’ve been monitoring here at SBO over the past couple of years has finally reached its apparent end with the upcoming sentencing in March of Florida, US-based celebrity tout Adam Meyer. Meyer will serve a minimum of five years in an US federal prison after pleading guilty to five separate felonies in the ongoing extortion of his wealthiest client for roughly US $45 million.
Meyer’s sentencing has been delayed several times since we last caught up with the legal tale last September. In the meantime, his defense attorneys submitted additional evidence and claims in their push for leniency for Meyer, whose picks on mostly North American sports appeared in major newspapers, on TV and radio, and on the Internet for several years. Meyers’ picks aired occasionally in English-language European outlets as well.
As we’ve previously reported, the nadir for Meyer occurred in 2012 when he and and an accomplice traveled from Florida to Wisconsin as part of the ongoing extortion of the wealthy client, a Wisconsin beer distributor named Gary Sadoff. During that trip, Meyer’s accomplice, Ray Batista, held a loaded gun to the back of Sadoff’s head while the three men sat in a vehicle. Meyer, at the same time, explained how “they” (thus including Sadoff as a supposed business partner of Meyer’s) were in debt millions to organized crime figures over a long string of bets gone bad.
Batista, the accomplice in the bizarre scheme, pled guilty in a separate trial and was recently sentenced to four years in prison for his participation in the Sadoff matter.
It was all news to Sadoff, a true whale of an illicit sports better in the States who had wagered millions on games and events over the course of several years. Sadoff even made millions years before through the use of Meyer’s celebrity picks service, which led to an ongoing arrangement between the two. Yet as with most paid touts, such hot streaks don’t last. Meyer was himself in debt many millions, and leaned more and more on Sadoff to provide the funds for his own wagering activity. Meyer even defaulted on a major loan that Sadoff had unwisely co-signed for, leaving the debt for Sadoff for pay.
All this was among the most recent batch of revelations in the case. Perhaps most startling, however, was that Meyer, as claimed by his defense counsel, was indeed an informant in some major US cases involving illegal offshore sites serving US punters. Though such sports betting activity is worth many billions of years in the states, over 95% of it estimated to be illegal, except for in the sole US state of Nevada, which allows such wagering.
One case dating from the early part of last decade, as purported by Meyer’s defense, involved the seizure of roughly US $750 million (roughly the same or a little less in Euros at the time) from accounts associated with a single international company. Though it’s not named in the court documents, there was really only one such giant case from that era. That involved a Costa Rica-based sportsbook called BetOnSports (also known as BOS), several executives of which (Gary Kaplan, David Carruthers) either served prison terms or paid millions in fines to the US. BetOnSports was listed on the London Stock Exchange before the US case effectively dismantled the firm. Eventually, customers received only a few pennies back per US dollar on their remaining sportsbook balances.
Meyer had a role in all that, reading between the lines of a 36-page pre-sentencing submission to the court. Yet Meyer was in legal trouble back then as well, yet somehow avoided jail time before this. According to a recent Wisconsin-based update, Meyer received only probation in a Connecticut (US) case where he scammed $6 or $7 million from other customers.
The story quotes a former New York prosecutor, Jeffrey Cramer, who says that under normal US sentencing guidelines back then, Meyer should have gotten five years in prison for the two felony counts and the amount of money involved. “That is odd,” Cramer told the outlet. “That’s not a big departure (from sentencing guidelines). That’s huge. That’s absolutely huge.”
Such a “huge” departure from sentencing norms seems more plausible if Meyer did indeed have an active, ongoing role as a federal snitch, though the old game of playing both sides against the middle never lasts forever. Meyer was also recently exposed as being the largest ongoing bettor in illicit wagering activity in a separate case involving US oddsmaker Cantor Gaming a few years back. Cantor was responsible for running the books at several major Nevada sportsbooks, and the firm’s parent company paid millions of fins to resolve those cases as well.
It’s all the type of messy, under-the-table garbage that punters on the Euro side of the Atlantic rarely see. The illicit activities involving the likes of Meyer absolutely flourish in the US’s long-running, Prohibiton-style legal framework regarding sports betting. The laws don’t stop the gambling; they just push it underground. And then weird stories like this Adam Meyer saga are the sadly inevitable result.
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